Coup de glotte

Weekly Teaching Tip – October 1, 2012
I have discovered a technique concept that I believe is very valuable. I call it the “adducted onset”. In traditional voice (Manuel Garcia) it was known as the “coup de glotte”, and it has gotten a bad rap from voice teachers. However, I find that the little “EE EE EE” sound helps students get the vocal cords together and balances the air/muscle (don’t like that word) equation quickly and effectively.  I use it on all the vowels, with students who are breathy and it immediately gets them to feel what adducted vocal cords should feel like. David L Jones, a classical voice teacher in New York who I enjoy reading, talks about the benefits of this.
I am referring to the easy approximation that we experience when we say the word “eat” for example. There is a slight glottal attack at the beginning of the word. It takes the “edgy MMM” gallop to the next level of applying it to vowels, and I have always found it to be very effective, though obviously could be damaging if done too forcefully. And like many other tools, probably should be discarded once a good coordination is achieved. It works best with the underdeveloped and breathy voices and obviously would not be needed for the chest pushers, although I have found it quite good for strengthening the upper register with those who “let go” in the upper register.

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